Israel ordered the Hannibal Protocol on October 7th

By Haydar Oruç

As it will be remembered, on the morning of October 7, 2023, we woke up to the news that the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigade, the military wing of Hamas, and some other armed groups based in Gaza had attacked some settlements inhabited by Israeli occupiers by crossing the borders by land and air, after about 5,000 rockets were fired towards Israel.

On that day, we followed the news that around 1,500 Palestinian fighters crossed the border and raided Israeli border troops and nearby settlements, killing any soldiers they encountered taking civilians hostage, and taking them to Gaza.

In the first report released by the Israeli authorities on October 7, including the dead, wounded, and hostages, it was announced that there were around 1,400 dead, around 5,000 wounded, and around 250-300 people were taken as hostages.

In the afternoon of the same day, Israel announced the launch of Operation Iron Swords against Gaza, but it was not immediately clear whether there had been any military activity at the border in the intervening period.

In fact, Israel’s “hasbara” tools came into play and began to serve news of allegedly decapitated children, women who had been tortured and raped, and mutilated and burnt corpses. These lies became so widespread that even US President Biden carried water for Israel’s mill by repeating the lie of decapitated babies, even though it was later denied by the Israeli army.

Despite the experts stating that the destruction in the images shared by the Israeli authorities in some settlements and in the parking lot near the area where the Super Nova festival was held could not have been done with the weapons in the hands of Hamas, Israel insisted on this issue and declared that all the casualties and destruction shared with the public were caused by Hamas.

Both government and army officials denied this, although some sources claimed that the so-called “Hannibal Protocol“, which stipulated the killing of friendly elements likely to fall into enemy hands, was ordered to prevent Hamas from taking hostages for later exchange.

However, according to eyewitness testimony in the area and the testimony of hostages later released by Hamas, the information provided by Israel did not reflect the truth. But it was not possible to say anything definitive because the matter was blacked out.

The fact that Israel reduced the death toll from 1,400 to 1,200 shortly after October 7 raised some questions, but no one was able to question what actually happened because of the ongoing state of emergency.

A few months later, some newspapers reported that helicopters and tanks sent to the area immediately after the Aqsa Flood attack on the morning of October 7 fired regardless of the target because they could not distinguish between friendly and hostile elements.

This report, which was based on eyewitnesses, was also denied by the Israeli authorities, who emphasized that the allegations that Israel may have killed its own citizens were malicious and threatened the authors of this report in a veiled manner.

However, the fact that the damage images shared from the region could only have been inflicted by vehicles with high firepower, such as helicopters and tanks, and not by light weapons in the hands of Hamas fighters, began to raise questions.

By the way, during the November 24-December 1, 2023 temporary ceasefire and hostage swap, Hamas released 110 hostages, and over 60 hostages have so far been declared dead in Israeli airstrikes and some escaped on their own, in addition, 4 hostages were rescued during the Camp Nusayrat raid on June 8. Now, it is estimated that Hamas and other factions still hold around 50 live hostages.

After nine months, the Israeli government’s refusal to agree to a swap deal to free the hostages, despite pressure from the hostages’ relatives, was interpreted as the government following the Hannibal Protocol and risking the deaths of the hostages rather than signing a possible ceasefire-for-hostage swap deal that would prevent the complete elimination of Hamas.

However, in the absence of any concrete evidence, the government has consistently denied these allegations and tried to placate the hostage families by saying that their first priority was the rescue of the hostages.

Nevertheless, the article published by Haaretz newspaper on July 7 with the headline “IDF Ordered Hannibal Directive on October 7 to Prevent Hamas Taking Soldiers Captive” revealed this order, which the Israeli government and army had been persistently hiding from the public until now.

According to the documents obtained by the Haaretz newspaper, as well as the testimonies of mid- and high-ranking members of the army, it is understood that in the Gaza Division, which is under the Southern Command and the General Staff, a series of orders, known as the Hannibal Protocol, were issued until noon on October 7, and that a certain procedure was carried out under these orders.

It was revealed that the special forces, equipped with high firepower weapons, who were deployed to the region based on these orders, fired regardless of target in order to prevent any Israeli from being taken hostage, not only at vehicles near the border, but also at the surrounding settlements, and that many soldiers as well as civilians were killed by the Israeli army because of this.

Therefore, it is understood that most of the casualties of the Aqsa Flood attack, which the Israeli authorities announced as 1,400 on the first day and later revised to 1,200, were also caused by the Israeli army.
Unfortunately, with this news, just like the lie about the decapitated babies, the death toll announced by Israel is also a lie.

This means that the Israeli government and military authorities have been lying to their own people and to the whole world since the beginning of the process. Moreover, by continuing these lies until today, Israel has been able to minimize the reaction of the hostage relatives and the opposition and to continue its genocide in Gaza with the support of various countries, especially the Western world.

However, as an old Turkish proverb says, “The cap has fallen off and the bald head has appeared”.

In addition to the war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide that Israel has been committing in Gaza for the past nine months, it has been revealed that Israel has not hesitated to kill its own soldiers and citizens by implementing the inhumane practice called the Hannibal Protocol on October 7.

It is obvious that the Israeli government and army, which have been violating international law for a long time, are also violating their own domestic law by implementing the Hannibal Protocol.

Following the ongoing genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s request for the arrest of Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gallant for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Gaza, it is understood that the news revealed by the Haaretz newspaper about the implementation of the Hannibal Protocol will also be the subject of an investigation according to Israeli domestic law and a trial will be held against those who issued and implemented this order.

This incident has shown us that Israel is an untrustworthy state, that it does not recognize any rules of international law, and that those who run the state are so inhuman that they can even kill their own citizens for the so-called interests of the country and try to blame this on Hamas and get away with it.

The crimes of war and genocide committed by Israel in Gaza are already being investigated by international courts and trials are ongoing. One way or another, a verdict will be rendered on these matters. However, it is the Israeli people who must face the fact that their bloodthirsty rulers have killed their own citizens.

Let’s see how the people of Israel react to the government and military authorities implementing the Hannibal Protocol and killing their own people on October 7.

Will they vote these ambitious politicians out of office or will they allow them to destroy themselves?

This article was originally published in Diriliş Postası on July 9, 2024, in Turkish.

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